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Friday, October 21, 2016

Bill Murray Bernie Macs the Cubs

Celebrities declaring the Cubs the champs is never a good thing.

bunyon Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:28 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, world series predictions

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2016

South Bend News-Times, October 21, 1916:

Sunday baseball may be legalized in New York state before the opening of the 1917 season. A number of state senators and congressmen from the metropolitan district will champion this cause at the next meeting of the legislature.

It was at the suggestion of certain prominent politicians that the patronage of the Brooklyn National league club was sounded on the matter last summer. The attitude of Brooklyn, it is believed, will prove beyond a doubt to the lawmakers that public sentiment favors such a law.

I’ve known about the old bans on Sunday baseball for years - decades, even - but it’s hard to even wrap my brain around them. It always slightly surprises me when I run across a mention of the blue laws.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 21, 2016 at 09:26 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2016

New York World, October 20, 1916:

Yankee Owners Planning To Start Work on Their New Park by Next Spring

Nobody is more anxious to begin the erection of a new ball park than are [Yankees owners] Capt. Huston and Col. Ruppert, but the problem that is besetting them is location. They have had under consideration an excellent place in Long Island City, on the other end of the Queensboro Bridge, but there is a doubt as to whether it would be advisable to get off Manhattan Island.
The decision on location is the only thing holding back the owners of the Yanks.

“Long Island City Larrupers” doesn’t have quite as good a ring to it as “Bronx Bombers”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 20, 2016 at 10:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, yankees

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-19-2016

19th century infielder Arthur Irwin tells the funniest baseball story he knows, Topeka State Journal, October 19, 1916:

Frank Bonner, once a big league star, was at bat, with a fellow named Thomas pitching. Thomas was bald headed but not proud about it, so he wore a wig. Bonner knew nothing about the dome disguise.

“Frank picked out one of Thomas’s twisters and drove it right back at him. The ball smashed Thomas on the upper division of his forehead and promptly knocked off Thomas’s cap and his wig…Bonner stopped and looked—and gasped. One of his teammated rushed from the bench and yelled at him:

“‘Run, you boob; run!”

“But Bonner gazed at the hairless Thomas, and then in an awed voice, rasped:

“‘Good heavens! I’ve scalped him!’”

I can’t even imagine how he’d have reacted if some cabbage had flown off of the pitcher’s head along with the ballcap and toupee. Also: Please tell me I’m not the only person who immediately thought ‘Herb Tarlek’ when I read the name Frank Bonner.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 19, 2016 at 10:54 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-18-2016

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, October 18, 1916:

It is [Yankees manager Bill Donovan’s] opinion that if pitchers continue to invent schemes which require something other than a natural delivery of the ball it is going to result soon in legislation which will force the pitcher to work without a glove, thus depriving him of his best means for practicing deception.

“That is the only way they will ever successfully curb the illegal and freak deliveries that are complained about,” says Bill, “for, to a pitcher who has to resort to tricks with the ball, a glove is as necessary as a jimmy is to a porch climber.”

Also necessary for a pitcher who resorts to tricks with the ball: A glove with which to field his position.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 18, 2016 at 10:21 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, October 17, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-17-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, October 17, 1916:

Suit has been filed against the Pacific Coast Baseball League for damages amounting to $10,000, by Miss Alice Butler, who charges that sufficient protection is not afforded baseball fans in the Oakland Park and that as a result her ward, ten-year-old Beatrice Silva, was struck with a foul ball which broke her nose.

The charge is made that one of the Pacific Coast League players did “carelessly, negligently and unnecessarily strike one of the baseballs” with his hat.

Either that’s a typo and was supposed to be “bat” or someone had a unique hitting style. Anyway, I can’t find any record of what happened in this case, but it seems likely that the plaintiffs wouldn’t be able to show that a baseball player “unnecessarily” hit a ball. It’s completely necessary. It’s how the game is played.

Unless you play for the Phillies.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2016 at 09:50 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, October 14, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-14-2016

Chicago Eagle, October 14, 1916:

What is the value of a sacrifice hit? Evidently all baseball managers do not agree on the worth of the play. Fielder Jones of the St. Louis American league team declares the sacrifice hit is one of the most valuable plays in baseball…On the other hand, George Stallings of the Boston Nationals is not at all enthusiastic over the play and seldom uses it, in fact, much less than any other manager in either league, and the standing of the Boston team is certainly an enviable one.

Stallings may not have been the most successful manager of his era, but the more I read about him, the more I think he’d have been the 1916 manager who would have been most easily acclimated to modern baseball. He hated the bunt, understood platoon advantages, and seems to have been very serious about having good personal relationships with his players.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 14, 2016 at 09:34 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: bunting, dugout, history

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-13-2016

Hugh Fullerton in the Washington Times, October 13, 1916:


Boston won yesterday, and finished up the tamest and (if the magnates are wise) the last of the world’s series…Without detracting from the merits of the grand old game, it must be admitted that unless the club owners throw some life into their show, or else establish a new National League, the world’s series of the future will be a bloomer.

The truth is: The National League was shown up; shown up as ball players, as umpires, and even in reporters. It did not even look like a respectable league, and after the game Artie Irwin, in the name of the International League, and Rube Foster, representing the Chicago Giants, colored champions of Chicago, challenged the winners, and wanted to know why favoritism was being shown.

The 1916 Chicago American Giants absolutely could have beaten 1916 Boston Red Sox. They had three Hall of Famers (Foster, Pete Hill, and Pop Lloyd), great #2 and #3 starters (Dick Whitworth and Frank Wickware), and two HOVG position players (Frank Duncan and Bruce Petway).

I don’t know if they’d have beaten the Red Sox, but Hill and Lloyd would have been the two best position players in the series and the starting pitching would have been tough to hit.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 13, 2016 at 10:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-12-2016

[Grants Pass, Oregon] Rogue River Courier, October 12, 1916:

Before the greatest crowd that ever witnessed a professional baseball game, the Boston Red Sox annexed their fourth world’s championship this afternoon. A vast throng, numbering 42,620 wild-eyed fans, saw the Sox down the Brooklyn Dodgers, four to one, in this fifth game of the 1916 title struggle.
The great crowd really did not turn itself loose until the game was over. Thousands then flooded down on the diamond in the wake of a band which loudly tooted “Tessie,” and after marching around the field massed in front of the players bench to shout itself out.

Ernie Shore finished it off for the Sox with a three-hitter.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:39 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-11-2016

Fairmont West Virginian, October 11, 1916:



The rest of the linked article is a play-by-play account of the game. The home run was Gardner’s second in two days, and with the win, the Sox took a 3-1 series lead.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, October 10, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-10-2016

Arizona Republican, October 10, 1916:


Breaking world’s series records and tearing traditions to shreds, the Boston Americans defeated the Brooklyn Nationals by a score of 2 to 1 in a 14-inning game here this afternoon. It was the second contest for the championship and was decided only after a struggle that surpassed in action any ever evolved in the fertile mind of a baseball fiction writer.

For more than two hours the teams, pennant winners in their respective leagues, battled with almost superhuman skill and courage through a one-run tie.

Man, that must have been a marathon. Two hours!

The Red Sox won it in the 14th on a walk, a bunt, and a single. Babe Ruth got the win for Boston, throwing a 14-inning complete game and allowing six hits.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 10, 2016 at 09:42 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, October 07, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-7-2016

United Press via Pittsburgh Press, October 7, 1916:

Plunging into the busy whirl of another world’s series, Boston’s Redsox clashed this afternoon in their first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in defense of their their title as the world’s baseball champions.

A bright sun beaming from a cloudless sky barely took the chill off the autumn air. Packed in the gigantic stands of the country’s biggest ball park were upwared of 40,000 raving fans.
In the meantime a cabaret sextet made sour music. A band did its best to drown out the megaphone shouters, but was only partially successful.

The royal rooters’ band was on the job early, well supplied with lung power, to toot “Tessie” all over the place.

The Sox took game one, 6-5. Brooklyn scored four runs in the ninth to get back into it, but Carl Mays came out of the bullpen to get the final out and nail down the win.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 07, 2016 at 11:46 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-6-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, October 6, 1916:

Charles Evans Hughes, Republican candidate for president, has made a request for a box seat at the first world’s series baseball game to be played in Brooklyn, it was learned…today. The Brooklyn club management has granted the request and a box back of third base was set aside for Mr. Hughes and his party. It is expected that the candidate will throw out the first ball.

Hughes was better luck for the Dodgers than he was for his own presidential campaign. Brooklyn won the game that Hughes attended by the smallest possible margin (4-3), but he lost the White House by a whisker when California went to Woodrow Wilson, 46.65 percent to 46.27 percent.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 06, 2016 at 09:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-5-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, October 5, 1916:

If the baseball magnates, and the National Commission in particular, want to help baseball and restore the confidence of the fans, let them abolish the world’s series.
The mad desire of magnates to have pennant-winning teams in order to get a slice of the world’s series melon does a lot of good for a few teams and satisfies the fans of a few cities, but the fans and players of the teams in seven cities in each league are bitterly disappointed year after year.

This is an excellent idea. Also, let’s stop keeping score.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 05, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, stupid ideas, terrible ideas

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-4-2016

New York Sun, October 4, 1916:


New York Leader Hints Collusion After Defeat by Dodgers
Indifferent Playing Arouses Manager
Leaves Game in Fifth Inning and Declares He Is Through

McGraw, angry at rebellion among his subordinates, attacked the supreme honesty of the national pastime and practically made charges against his hirelings, which aroused more than a breath of scandal to rest upon the heretofore carefully guarded, virtuous sport.

American League president Ban Johnson says the NL should investigate and punish McGraw, National League president John Tener says he will do nothing of the sort, and National Commission chairman Gerry Herrmann says nothing will be done and he doesn’t want to talk about it.

It’s interesting to me that the men who ran baseball were either looking to ignore a potentially fixed game or punish the guy who was angry about that possible fix. Nobody seemed too concerned about getting to the bottom of whether players threw a game.

Those chickens were still incubating and had a few years before they came home to roost.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 04, 2016 at 11:25 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, October 03, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-3-2016

John McGraw discusses the upcoming World Series, published in the New York World, October 3, 1916:

[Red Sox manager Bill] Carrigan will win the series on his pitchers if he wins at all. Outside of the box it is not a wonderful ball club. But American Leaguers tell me Carrigan carries the greatest pitching you could look at. I guess he does. Good pitching always results in a ball club looking better, because it makes the other team look like a slightly worn second hand piece of cheese.

The Red Sox didn’t have any great hitters, but they did have Babe Ruth. Ruth led the league in ERA, games started, shutouts, and H/9 while allowing zero home runs in 323.2 IP.

If only Babe Ruth’s team had somebody who could hit.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 03, 2016 at 10:33 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 30, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2016

Chicago Eagle, September 30, 1916:

“I took up professional baseball after receiving a diploma in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan because the financial returns were there,” remarked George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns, the other day.
“I intend to use the winter months to advantage, however, by keeping in touch with engineering. Baseball is a grant game and I want to get to the top if possible. At the present rate, I think I can retire in 12 years with a fortune.

“One thing: I will never play in the minors. As soon as I start to slow down I will quit, and then see what I can do with mechanical engineering.”

I don’t know that Sisler ever actually worked as a mechanical engineer. He spent virtually all of his adult life in baseball as a player, scout, and coach.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 30, 2016 at 10:40 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, george sisler, history

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-29-2016

New York Evening World, September 29, 1916:

Twenty-five straight!

If the Giants never do anything else they can rest on that record. The twenty straight of the old Providence Club lasted for thirty-two years. Under the law of averages—with the increasing difficulty of winning games as the strain of a long drawn out effort grows—the new record of the Giants should last for a century!

I don’t know, man. 100 years is a long time. People probably won’t even be playing baseball anymore in 2016.

At this point, the Giants, who had a losing record as late as the second week of September, still had an outside chance to win the pennant. Strange things were afoot at the Circle K.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 29, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cracked: Baseball Is Carefully Crafted To Skirt The Limits Of Human Ability

[scroll down to #1]

On any regulation baseball diamond, the distance from home plate to the pitcher’s mound is weirdly specific: 60’ 6”. That distance isn’t a two-thirds ode to the devil; it’s an important design feature. That’s the empirically determined balancing point which puts the pitcher and hitter on an equal playing field. Moving the pitcher’s mound back even five feet would change the game wildly, giving batters a huge (20 percent) increase in the time they had to prepare their swing, thus leading to more hits, more home runs, and more depressed pitchers.


John DiFool2 Posted: September 28, 2016 at 10:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-28-2016

New York Sun, September 28, 1916:

The great winning streak of the Giants looked deader than Dickens’s door nail on the Polo lawn yesterday when the ninth inning came rolling around. With two out in the ninth and the Cards leading at 2 to 0, the boys in the stands were edging toward the exits. Then came the explosion.

A warm slap to right by Charley Herzog was converted into a triple by Owen Wilson’s keystone komedy fielding, and Lew McCarty and George Burns rushed home with the tieing runs. The St. Looey lads then staved off defeat for one inning, but gave way before a Harlem attack in the tenth.

This was the Giants’ 23rd consecutive win. That’s pretty good.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 28, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-27-2016

[Portland] Oregonian, September 27, 1916:

Charged with assault with intent to kill George Johnson, American Association umpire, Jacob Scholkey, 24 years old, was indicted by a grand jury [in Toledo yesterday].

During the game with St. Paul at Swayne Field last July 23, Umpire Johnson was struck on the head by a pop bottle thrown from the stand and rendered unconscious. He was in the hospital two days and it was feard for a time he could not recover.

I’m not sure what happened to Scholkey. I can’t find any mentions of him anywhere on the internet apart from this specific story appearing in a bunch of different newspapers, so I wonder if his name is misspelled here or something.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 27, 2016 at 09:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Golden Age of Baseball Writing

Only in baseball — in no other sport — do we imagine that olden days were better than our own, or that the stars of nearly a century ago could not only compete with those of today but would certainly exceed them. Was there ever a guy like Ruth? Or Gehrig? No. Nor have there been writers like Rice and Runyon, Gallico and Vidmer, Kieran and Lieb, or Cannon. All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.
But I’ll take the game and the writing of today.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2016 at 09:49 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sportswriters

Monday, September 26, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-26-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 26, 1916:


By winning another double-header from St. Louis [in New York yesterday], 1 to 0 and 6 to 2, the New York Giants won their twenty-first straight victory and created a new record for successive victories, smashing the record of the Providence Nationals who won 20 straight games in 1884.

And they weren’t done yet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 26, 2016 at 07:52 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, September 23, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2016

Chicago Eagle, September 23, 1916:

Monte Cross is responsible for a story of two base runners being put out by a batted ball. While the Athletics were playing the Browns years ago Cross was on second and Clements on third. With two out and three and two on the batter, both base runners started with the windup. The batter hit along the third base line, winging Clements, and the ball carromed off the latter’s shin and struck Cross just as he reached third, both being declared out as the result of being hit by a batted ball.

I’m going to call shenanigans here. With two outs in the inning, two baserunners were put out on the same play? As fun as the mental image is, I don’t buy it.

Checking back in on the 1916 Giants, they’re still rolling. Slim Sallee scattered seven hits yesterday en route to a 5-0 shutout win over the Cubs. That’s New York’s 17th win in a row. St. Louis is in town for a doubleheader this afternoon.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 23, 2016 at 08:05 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-22-2016

Pittsburgh Press, September 22, 1916:

The complaint of the Brooklyn Ball club against the Flatbush Hygeia Ice Co. for permitting cinders to pour out into the air and get into the eyes of the Dodgers, was dismissed by Magistrate Voorhees yesterday. The case was called while the baseball men were outside the court taking the air. The club’s appeal to reopen the case was denied.

I’ve gotten cinders in my eyes before. It’s no fun. On the other hand, if the cinders were getting into the Dodgers’ eyes, they were also getting into the opponents’ eyes.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 22, 2016 at 09:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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